Video: Lighting Up the Trails for a Ride After Dark

Nov 4, 2019
by Max McCulloch  
Views: 6,946    Faves: 35    Comments: 7


For most in North America (and beyond), November 3rd marks the end of riding after work or school. Fortunately for us, that isn't the case - many of our best rides have come after the sun has gone down.

Gemini Lights (based out of Victoria, BC) fully supported our project and supplied us with their brand new Titan 4000 (4000 Lumens) and Duo. Massive thanks to them, make sure to check out their new line of lights here.

Riders: Andrew Geisbrecht, Merin Pearce, and Evan Blackwell
Video and Production: Max McCulloch
Camera Assistants: Chris Lai and Anthony Joh


49 Comments

  • 25 1
 Can you guys make something that I can attach to my handlebars that will make it stop raining?
  • 3 0
 @savagelake: hells yeah! All I need now is one of them f*cky Kurvyturd mudguards and I’m all set!
  • 4 0
 @savagelake: And it gives a nice Mary Poppins effect when you come off a drop.
  • 13 0
 Can't wait until we get rid of Standard time once and for all. That afternoon daylight is precious this time of year North of the 49th.
  • 4 0
 Washington State just passed it, but we are waiting for the Feds to approve it...
  • 5 0
 That’s awesome! Gets me stoked on night riding for sure. I can also appreciate the hassle of shooting in low light situations and I gotta say you guys nailed it with use of illuminated features to give it a little bit of pop.

Also I giggled at the dirt throwing to set up the back flip shot...whole lotta that kinda stuff goes on behind the scenes on commercial shoots and it’s always amusing to me what we do to make the shot better.
  • 2 0
 Thanks for the kind words, I was lucky to have the best dirt throwers in the business! Definitely takes way more planning than during the day, really hard to nail exposure too. Stoked you liked the illuminated features, was a last minute decision to do it that way!
  • 6 0
 This video really captures how the third string rider is always enveloped in a total blinding dust cloud
  • 9 0
 Haha, you got it right! In the jump section, I was completely blinded from the light reflecting off the dust. I felt like I was riding by braille.
  • 3 1
 I spent 100 USD on a niterider lumina 1100 boost best light I have ever had and the power button glows red instead of blue when you get to the last 30min of battery. Small and light. I had an old halogen light with the waterbottle battery and it was 500 USD. Battery didnt last either. On a mix of settings(low for climbing) and (high for descending. I get 3.5 hours of battery life. Plenty enough time for winter nights to get really cold here in colorado.
  • 1 0
 Exposure Race!!! Best light I have ever used. Has many different settings no extra battery packs and will make your night riding seem like day. My favorite setting sets the light dim for riding uphill at a slower pace and then can feel when you start descending at a faster pace and gets brighter.
  • 1 0
 Great riding video. Most lights these days will do the job quite well. These lights and batteries are made in China just like most of the other lights on the market. I have used light and motion and niterider. It is quite hard to beat the niterider 1100 boost. Long battery life, reasonable price, and multiple different settings. Also, has a feature which tells you when you have 30 minutes of battery life left.
  • 1 0
 A 4,000 lumen light is just insanely overkill... 2 800's (one on helmet, one on bars) is all you need. Lots of these new 800's are USB rechargeable so you don't need to worry about strapping down these bulky battery packs anymore as well!

Just my unsolicited .02.
  • 1 0
 Excellent video Max and great riding guys. I own a Gemini DUO 1500, the battery wouldn't hold a charge after a few rides, they replaced it. Awesome customer service, new battery is two years old and no issues. Thanks Gemini!!
  • 5 1
 Just and only about 100 times overpriced...
  • 2 0
 It's not my imagination that they look oh so similar to the cheap $35 Ebay & Amazon bike lights with the crappy batteries?
Looks like they ordered the same base hardwear from Asia and maybe hooked up their own battery to them?

And to Gemini, if this is somehow your own in house design and creation, it just doesn't look that way. Someone with knowledge wanna chime in?
  • 1 0
 @bizutch: exactly my thoughts
  • 4 1
 The cheap ebay lights are just that, cheap garbage. That's all I used to buy, but then got sick of the batteries catching fire (once while it was in my pocket while riding) and the drastically overrated lumen rating and crappy beam patterns. Got myself the Gemini Titan/Duo setup last year and it's sooo much better. And it's nice having piece of mind that my back pocket isn't going to spontaneously burst into flames. Just as with most things, you get what you pay for.
  • 1 0
 @freerider11: I used the cheap ebay ones as well, had the same issues with battery and changer then switched to locally rebranded with safe batteries, still around 60-100 USD and no US 1 year warranty, but luckily EU standard 2 years
But 600 USD for a set of lights, well if you think you get what you pay for, happy you then
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: Mind shooting me a link Smile ?
  • 3 2
 Yup, you can get the same set of lights for like $30USD with 4-Lithium ion cells (18650). The only difference may be the wireless remote. Some of the older Yinding lights actually did have the wireless remotes for about $30-$50USD, but I'm starting to think that North American and European "manufacturers" and sellers have caught on that there's a market to sell these high lumen lightweight lights with 10x mark-up price. It's ridiculous since a lot of people think that the higher the price of the product, the better the quality. However, it's pretty much the same product but rebranded. It's true that some manufacturers do have higher specifications when producing their products with a Chinese company. There are just different levels of standards. But if the lights are already produced with high standards in the first place, I'm sure the manufacturer will buy the rights to rebrand the product and have exclusive rights to sell it. I'd recommend people to look around and do their research before buying one of the brand name products. You'd be surprised what you can get for a lot lower price.
  • 5 0
 @bizutch: I've owned everything from cheap amazon lights to expensive nightrider lights and I have to say the quality of the Gemini lights are far superior. As someone who night rides a handful of times a week, switching to the Gemini lights really made me enjoy those rides even more. The light beam is well diffused across the whole beam (no bright spot), the battery lasts as long as advertised and I have not had any overheating or battery issues (it's also relatively small for its output). Previously, I had purchased a more expensive light than the $350 Titan 4000. In comparison, the Gemini lights are far superior in every way. I can't rave enough about these lights. $350 for a high-quality Canadian product that pumps out 4000 lumens! That's hard to beat.

Also, the wireless remote links both lights together so that you only need to push one button on your handlebar to turn on and change the brightness settings on both your lights. It seems like a trivial feature but like the dropper post, you quickly become dependent on it and can't imagine a life without one.
  • 3 0
 I'm not going to charge batteries I don't trust, especially those large capacity ones you get for front lights. It is not worth it setting your house on fire.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: There's no doubt that's one of my worries as well. You can still get a pretty good set of lights without the batteries and use an existing good battery with similar connectors or adapter cables.
  • 2 0
 @merinator: +1 on the wireless remote being used to control both helmet and bar lights simultaneously. Great feature. That and you can also customize the hi/med/low settings on each light to however bright you want it from 1 to 10. Also a great feature.

@bok-CZ: I didn't spend $600USD on my Gemini head and bar setup, it was quite a bit less. And again, well worth it for piece of mind on the quality. And if you do have issues then it's a local company (to me in Canada) that's stocked at my local bike shop. So any warranty issues are easily handled. Try getting any warranty from your eBay lights. You can either spend the money once now on good lights, or spend the same amount over the years on cheap chinese lights that need to be replaced frequently.
  • 1 0
 @merinator: okay, thanks for input. How many months per year you use these? 2, 3 or 4? So you get one today and the next year you get new set when this one is out of service?
  • 3 1
 @bizutch: It's their own in house design. I've seen the machine shop where they make everything. Don't forget that everything can be knocked off in China. Even the production factory that you've hired to make your products is probably knocking you off as soon as leave the factory. Just because lights look similar doesn't mean the quality is the same.
  • 1 0
 @anthonyjoh: See...why couldn't you have been the 1st to respond? Now there's all this "clutter" above your answer.
  • 2 0
 @bok-CZ: A good set should last you a while. Plus they will be able to provide you with all the tiny bits should you happen to break or lose something. I hate disposing of a product that becomes useless because I broke a tiny cheap but essential bit and there is no way to have it fixed. I'm currently running the first generation Lupine Pico set, eight years old or so. At some point my Camelbak was stolen from my car with the battery in there. As far as I know Lupine sticks to one single battery interface for nearly all of their lights (except for the insanely powerful one) so I could get a new battery. But if you wear out your battery at some point, they will give you a good discount if you turn your old one in. They also offer all those mounts, filters and will repair or upgrade your current light set. There is no way you're going to have that with a cheap mailorder set. As for going out of service, I currently am running this same battery for about four years without any noticeable drop in performance. I may only use the light in fall and winter but I also use that battery as a powerbank on summer trips.

So yeah it may be an investment but at least you can be confident that it is going to last you and you are able to get hold of replacement parts for a good couple of years. I suppose the same story goes for Gemini.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: Yeah I have very good experience with Lupine too, just can't justify the price nowadays even though it has some cherries on top compared to competitors
  • 1 0
 @bok-CZ: Yeah, maybe it is a thing that grows on you as you get older. I'm turning 40 this year. Back in the days I'd get the cheapest stuff (tools, electronics, kitchen stuff etc) that gets the job done. You don't have much money and most often when you're buying tools, it is also because you're buying materials for a project that always turns out more expensive than you initially planned. Then over time when something breaks or just turns out to be inadequate and a repair and/or upgrade simply isn't feasible. you feel kind of stupid. Because you're going to spend the money anyway and you're going to donate the world a broken/dangerous product. I may not be the typical consumer but at this point I just want to buy something that works, I'm happy with and what will last me a good while. Just like my hardtail frame. It wasn't cheap already and the modification I had made to the standard design didn't help either, but I've now got the frame I wanted for over ten years. I expect to happily ride it for a good couple of years if not decades.

So yeah, same for those lights. The power output is sufficient for how and where I ride. I may reach the point where I need to have the batteries replaced or I may break a mounting bracket in a crash. But all those tiny bits can be replaced. There is no such thing as "total loss". I like that.
  • 1 0
 @vinay: I am 36 Smile I totally got your point and most of the time or stuff I am buying I am following this. I don´t like cheap stuff, but not cheap in price but cheap in quality and my experience is that I can be happy for years with something 10x cheaper in price and only small difference in quality. And as I said upper, if it is so good, why only 1 year warranty? Those lights I am talking about are not one piece of crap, you can also replace whatever.

And the impact on other things when you have to make 600 bucks instead of 100 is also a point.
As I said before, if you are fine with the price for the product, go for it. I will pass.
  • 5 0
 Nice one Max!!!
  • 2 0
 Bear Mountain is great, Bear Mountain at night is AMAZING ... HUGE props on riding Chainsaw in the dark, wow, I haven't adventured there yet... Maybe tonight.
  • 1 0
 Looks like you had a nice night for it! Was pretty impressed the riders had no problem on Chainsaw at night, it's already hard enough during the day!
  • 2 2
 Magic shine USA Price splits the difference between so called high end brands and cheap amazon. But with full warranty support. And batteries that dont catch fire. I ride nights and commute year round so they get lots of use. And last for years.
  • 4 0
 Night riding is so fun
  • 1 0
 Portland rider here, can not relate to this riding in dust stuff. All my night riding happens in mist or rain, or sometimes if I'm real lucky clear and dry and icy.
  • 1 0
 Don't forget the rainy ride hitting a patch of ice ride....
  • 2 0
 These trails haven't been dusty in a while... and based on what they are wearing, I'm gonna guess this was shot awhile a go.... before the rain (and cold) arrived.
  • 1 0
 I went for my first night ride of the season last night with my bros. forgot how fun it is! I find different lines. some good..some bad! haha
  • 1 0
 ... fall leaves don't help either.
  • 1 0
 This gets me excited for our first night-ride this week! Temps here have been in the 80's this week so it's an easy transition to the "winter" riding up here in Northern CA.
  • 1 0
 Nitenumen (Evolva) X8. £35 to £50. 1800Lm

Job done.
  • 1 0
 I think they might... need a cookie?
  • 1 0
 @iduckett. Is it a special cookie? or a boring one?
  • 1 0
 Looks fun. Now add cold and rain. Welcome to Europe... Not so fun anymore.

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